Greening your home and following simple energy-saving tips can save you up to 50 percent on your utility bills. Most items purchased to “green” your home are inexpensive and easy to install, and many of the following tips can be implemented in no time.
Money & Energy Saving Purchases
If you plan to make a big appliance purchase, always look for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. These appliances are widely available and have passed certain Federal standards, which makes them up to 40 percent more energy-efficient than non-ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, saving lots of energy (and money) over the life of the product.
Seemingly small changes can have a huge effect on your energy usage. Replacing all of the incandescent bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs could save you up to 75 percent on your home lighting costs. Buying and installing low-flow shower-heads and faucet aerators can cut water usage in your home by up to 50 percent. For double effect, these low-flow shower-heads and faucet aerators also save you money on water-heating costs, because of the decrease in water usage.
Money & Energy Saving Practices
Making sure that your electronics are in energy-saving modes (especially computers and monitors), or unplugged when not in use can save you a great deal of money every month. These “energy vampires” continue to pull power whether they are in use or not, and combined can use as much power as a refrigerator.
Setting your air conditioner just five degrees higher than you normally set it can save you as much as 20 percent on your cooling cost. You can also save on cooling costs by adding insulation and making sure that the cracks around windows and doors are properly sealed. An easy and stylish way to reduce the cost of cooling your home is to use ceiling fans; many fans use less energy than a light bulb.
Washing clothes should always be done in cold water unless hot water is absolutely needed. Ninety percent of the energy used when washing clothes in hot water is spent heating the water.
When washing dishes in a dishwasher, make sure the dishwasher is full before you run the load. Fewer dishwasher loads equates to less water usage. Less water usage means you save money.
Try blown cellulose insulation if you are thinking about re-insulating your attic. Tackling this type of job is not for the faint of heart. You should give yourself at least two days to complete the project. If you are able to complete the task yourself you will save yourself about $1,000 in labor cost alone.
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